U.S. House Of Representatives Probing $24 Million In Stimulus Spent on INTERNET ROUTERS !?!?!?!?

Posted on June 16, 2012

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And to think; there’s people out there who believe that we haven’t spent enough…

West Virginia (Eric Eyre – Charleston Gazette) – Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives asked the Inspector General to investigate West Virginia’s use of $24 million in federal stimulus funds to purchase oversized Internet routers.

U.S. Reps. Greg Walden of Oregon and John Shimkus of Illinois want Department of Commerce Inspector General Greg Zinser to scrutinize West Virginia’s stimulus spending on the equipment.

“We have requested Inspector General Zinser investigate whether taxpayer funds were spent properly and efficiently,” said Debbee Keller, press secretary for the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

The state is installing the high-end routers in rural schools, libraries and small health clinics, even though the pricey devices were designed to serve research universities, major medical centers and large corporations. More than 1,000 routers were purchased at $22,600 each.

Walden and Shimkus say federal officials have a duty to investigate “waste, fraud and abuse,” according to a recent letter sent to the inspector general. Their request follows a May 16 hearing on Capitol Hill during which federal lawmakers grilled the Obama administration’s telecommunications chief about West Virginia’s router purchase.

“In the hearing, we learned that expensive and very large capacity routers were being put into rural libraries and other facilities with smaller needs,” said Shimkus, chairman of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy. “Chairman Walden and I just want to find out what process was used and how decisions were made with regard to spending this federal money.”

The House committee chairmen also have asked West Virginia homeland security chief Jimmy Gianato to answer numerous questions and turn over documents about the state’s use of the stimulus funds. Gianato leads the state’s three-member stimulus “grant implementation team.”

Read more:      http://wvgazette.com/News/politics/201206130245